No, they don’t wear lycra and fly through the sky (that I know about or want to know about anyway) but they do come to our rescue in times of need.
Our parents are the greatest! If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to return to work after having the boys and we most definitely wouldn’t have been able to go away to celebrate our birthdays recently or have date nights!
We are really lucky that my parents are less than 5 minutes away and the in-laws are only an hour away. They are never intrusive but they have helped us out so much over the years since the children have been born and I’m not sure we could ever thank them enough.
They have come to our rescue when our eldest fractured his femur and required a blue light trip to the hospital. My Mum has never travelled the mile between our houses as quickly as she did that morning. She took amazing care of a very frightened 1 year old as his brother was wheeled off to the hospital.
They also helped out so much in the final weeks of my twin pregnancy when I was so poorly and getting up off the sofa required a crane and about 20 minutes! Days out and extended holidays definitely helped break the boredom of Mummy being a beached whale!
I know they say they enjoy it but looking after the grandchildren does take it out of them. They’re not in their 30s any more! But, at the same time, I think it’s keeping them younger. They get out more and run around which can’t be bad for their health.
It’s also giving our Dad’s an opportunity to get back what they missed out on when we were younger. I know my Dad worked incredibly long hours just so my Mum could stay at home with us. He missed out on a lot of the fun of having really little people and I think he’s making up for that now. He’ll quite often phone up and asks if he can take the boys out or come play with them.
With the rising cost of living, Mums are having to go back to work after maternity leave. This means more and more grandparents are helping out with childcare. It’s a good job really as childminders and nurseries don’t come cheap! Without my parents help, there would have been no point me returning to work. All of my wages every month would have been gobbled up by the long nursery hours the boys would have needed. I also love the way they are cared for by someone they know really well and trust completely. They still do a few hours a week at nursery so there’s not as much pressure on my parents and I like them mixing with other children.
But, does there come a time when grandparents doing large amounts of childcare has to stop?
Yes, for me I think there does. Our parents are still fairly young and in good health. I’m not sure I would impose on them so much if they were a lot older and heading towards their 70’s or their health was failing them. If my children started to cause them big problems such as stress or they became ill then we would reevaluate the situation immediately. I wouldn’t want them caring for our children to make them ill or prevent them getting better.
They say they enjoy it and I do think that’s genuine as they’ve really missed having the boys while I’ve been on maternity leave. If they are enjoying it and everybody is happy, then the arrangement works.
I’ll never be able to thank them enough for all the help they give us and will be forever grateful to them.